The evening was a demonstration by Steve Heeley who introduced the project as a means of utilising square or rectangular offcuts to make a vase for silk flowers which included texturing and colouring.
The rectangular block of pine was mounted between centres as accurately as possible. One of the faces had 3 holes drilled for fitting plugs later on. A chucking spigot was turned at the tailstock end using a spindle gouge as a parting tool may damage the square edges. This was then mounted in a chuck with the tailstock brought up for support. The neck and shoulder were turned using a spindle gouge with the final cuts being light and continuous to get the best finish. The neck was refined with a skew again to obtain the best finish. The base shoulder was cut in the same way. The hole along the centre of the vase was drilled and the top was blended into the hole. The flat surfaces were then textured quite coarsely and randomly but you could do this in any way you wish. The neck and shoulders were then sprayed with sanding sealer and the flat faces were then sprayed with Chestnut black lacquer. Once this was dry the pommels and neck had a final skim to a fine finish and sanded. The flat faces were lightly sanded to remove the black lacquer from the high spots. This created a striking finish of black with light wood showing through. The vase was reverse chucked onto a wooden jam chuck with the tailstock to support it. The base pommel was finished and the chucking point turned away. 3 plugs were turned and fitted into the 3 holes on the flat face as additional decoration. The vase can be finished to your choice using oil or spray clear lacquer etc. This was a really good way of using up offcuts that would usually end up as firewood and looked very effective as a finished item.
Tonight Roger Gilbert set up for 2 projects both based around bowls with a common theme of “propeller turning”. This is where the bowl is not round so you are “cutting air” for a large proportion of tile. It can be scary stuff so it is important to make sure your fingers etc are behind the tool rest and not in the line of the spinning wood.
The first bowl was a 3 cornered piece which is made by mounting an accurately cut cube of wood from point to point between centres (see photo).
The bottom was turned to finish and a chucking spigot created. The outside was sanded to a finish and the bowl rechucked on the spigot. The centre was then hollowed out but to make sure the wall thickness was accurate the toolrest was marked at the limit of your cut.
Sanding to a finish was done as power sanding and the points done with the lathe stopped. The bowl was then reversed onto a wooden former with the tailstock in place so that the spigot could be turned away. Roger’s hobby horse is that the base should always be finished so that the chucking point cannot be seen.
The second project was a natural edge Ash bowl where half a log was mounted on pin jaws in a chuck and the turning undertaken in the same was as for the first project. However, instead of a spigot for rechucking Roger used a recess on this bowl. The trick is to try to preserve the bark on the bowl but in this instance a large chunk of bark flew off. All was not lost, Roger suggested that the rest of the bark could be picked off and the natural edge scorched as a feature.
The 2 projects certainly produced interesting bowls that were a little out of the ordinary, and although not finished to Rogers usual standard looked amazing. This was another excellent demonstration with plenty of tips that we can employ on our turnings.
The March competition was a little disappointing in the turnout although the quality was as good as usual.